22 Aug 2014
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Patch Instagram photo by greghambrick
Patch Instagram photo by patch

Inauguration Survival Guide

Helpful details to navigate the crowds and security on Inauguration Day.

Inauguration Survival Guide Inauguration Survival Guide

While the crowds may not be as intense as in 2009, when an estimated 1.8 million people came to DC for President Barack Obama’s inauguration, there’s still a lot of info you need to know to survive the day. From Metro closures and changes to where to eat and how to stay warm, Patch has you covered.


  • Metro – Some metro stations will be closed, and some bus routes will be detoured. See our guide to taking Metro this weekend. Then, read ‘What’s Up with the Metro: Inauguration Edition’ and watch this video from Metro to be fully informed and prepared.
  • Driving – Driving is definitely not recommended. If you’re still thinking about driving downtown, be prepared to sit in traffic and face the challenge of parking. More information on driving downtown on inauguration weekend is available here.
  • Buses – Metro has modified some bus routes around inauguration security areas and to avoid traffic. See more about taking Metro to inauguration above, and information on other bus systems in our transportation guide.
  • Biking – Bikes are prohibited in the secured area, but there is bicycle parking close by. Here’s a complete guide to biking to the inauguration.
  • Walking – Some areas will be closed to pedestrians, especially along the inaugural parade route. The inauguration ceremony (including the non-ticketed, public viewing area) has specific access points for security. See our guide to walking downtown on inauguration weekend here.
  • Other services – More information available in Patch’s inauguration travel guide.

What to Bring

Essentially, you should bring yourself, an ID and as few other items as possible. There’s an extensive list of prohibited items, including backpacks, strollers (in certain areas) and more. See the list of prohibited items here.

Weather and Staying Warm

Forecasts indicate Monday’s weather will be cold, with a possibility of snow flurries. Temperatures will struggle to reach 35 degrees during the day, and be in the 20s both Sunday and Monday nights.

Be sure to dress in layers. The layer closest to your body should be synthetic (because cotton can trap moisture), according to the cold weather experts at Hudson Trail Outfitters.

See more tips on how to stay warm during the 2013 presidential inauguration here.

Social Media and App

The Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) released a free official app for iPhones, iPads and Android devices (download here).

The app includes a schedule of events, maps, volunteer opportunities, a feed for social networking, behind-the-scenes videos and photos and a live stream available Monday.

The official Presidential Inauguration Committee official twitter account is @obamainaugural, and they are primarily using the hashtag  #inaug2013#Inauguration is another populare hashtag for the inauguration.

Security information and other useful tips are available from the Secret Service's official Twitter account, @secretservice

Service providers warn service on the Mall may be slow Monday, due to the number of people using their devices.

Your Tips

Do you have other suggestions and tips for people heading to DC for the inauguration? Share them in the comments below.

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